Competitive Advantages

Strategic Location

The Northland is centrally located in North America with direct and competitive access to U.S, Canadian, and global markets. Thanks to its location at the western tip of the Great Lakes, ships leaving the Duluth-Superior port can call upon locations in Western Europe, the Mediterranean, West Africa, and South America in only two to three weeks via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Thie region is also in the middle of Great Circle aviation routes between Eastern Asia, western North America, and Europe.

Exposure to natural disasters caused by turbulent wind or major flooding are uncommon; seismic activity is virtually non-existent.

Stable Economy

The Northland has a diverse, vibrant business climate with emerging opportunities to supply large-scale industrial developments and entrepreneurial endeavors. There are numerous business resources available in the area, including low-cost financial assistance, seed or venture capital, strategic planning, and workforce development.

The region offers research and development advantages through laboratories that create new economic potential in energy savings, forestry, mining, water, and rapid prototyping. Communities across the region partner with businesses in an ongoing cycle of mutual investment.

Multi-Modal Transportation Network

The Northland offers border-to-border and global shipment of goods, large and small. With an inland seaport, more than three dozen trucking companies, direct access to the national interstate system, four Class I rail hubs, and three international airports, the region is poised to deliver products all over the globe.

The new Duluth International Airport terminal leverages the second longest runway in Minnesota, a CAT II Instrument Landing System, and 24/7 air traffic control. Along with the Range Regional Airport and Falls International Airport, the region has 15 daily round-trip commercial passenger flights.

The Northland's three ports of entry at Duluth/Superior, Grand Portage, and International Falls offer round-the-clock customs and border crossing support.

Accessible Infrastructure

Competitive utility providers in the Northland specialize in accommodating needs of large consumers of power, natural gas, steam, and water. In particular, electric power rates are some of the lowest per kilowatt-hour in the nation.

Several broadband expansion initiatives currently underway aim to bring fiber optics and high-speed internet to businesses and homes throughout the Northland. Expanding businesses can choose from available sites and well-connected business or industrial parks.

Exceptional Education and Industry Resources

There are 13 higher education campuses in the Northland, which collaborate to offer customized training in a variety of disciplines including business, engineering, medicine, and the trades. Businesses can recruit from more than 6,200 graduating college students each year.

Key industry sectors have a support network including the Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association, the Iron Mining Association, and Northern Aero Alliance.

Vibrant Healthcare

Two integrated healthcare systems deliver a continuum of convenient, highly personalized care, from family medicine to specialty services. The region continues to grow as a medical hub, and a number of its largest employers are in healthcare fields.

Robust Telecommunications

The region is connected to global and national networks with fiber optics and wireless services, redundancy, and an expanding rural broadband support network.

Productive, Loyal Workforce

The Northland is home to skilled workers who are paid affordable and competitive wages with a demonstrated record of high productivity and low turnover.

Abundant Natural Resources

The Northland features ample water, clean air, timber, and deposits of ferrous and non-ferrous minerals with emphasis on responsible regional growth. The region was founded on a natural resource-based economy, and Northland residents continue to harvest the bounties of the earth while sustaining its natural beauty for future generations.